By Jan Chait
Before I begin this week’s blog entry, I’d like to thank you for your well wishes, words of hope, and stories of your own experiences. I don’t have the words to tell you how much I appreciate it. Thanks to you, I think I’m going to make it.
Also, I’m touched that you’ve let me know I’ve helped some of you make it through dealing with Type 2 diabetes, and/or reminded you of the need to keep an eye on yourself. I’m glad I’ve been of some help: It was one of my goals when I agreed to write this blog. As for candor, I don’t know how else to be. At my age (I’m in mentalpause), I have to tell it like it is: I’d never remember what I said otherwise!
Now back to my regularly scheduled blog:
I took an antianxiety pill before I went to see the surgeon last Friday. I went in with some hope that something could be done that would let me keep all of my left leg and foot. It wasn’t to be. After looking at images he’d ordered, he told me amputation would be the best thing: I’m scheduled for surgery at 9 AM next Tuesday.
Doing it now will be below-the-knee. Later might be an above-the-knee amputation. From what I’ve researched, below-the-knee is best in terms of the ability to walk. Walking is good. Doing nothing is not an option: I haven’t finished whipping my grandchildren into shape yet and need to be around long enough to do that.
Hoo boy, there’s a lot to do before I can check into a hospital!
Oddly, it’s not the surgery or wearing a prosthetic that’s bothering me the most: What’s bothering me is how the dickens am I going to go to the bathroom with only one leg? I’m in my 60s, I’m extremely…let’s just say “well fed,” and I have osteoarthritis (OA) in my knees. As explained to me, OA is described in levels, with 1 being the “best” and 4 being the “worst.” I’m at level 4.
In preparation for doing some hopping around, I had injections of lubricant in both knees. They feel a little bit better, so that’s good. Well, they did feel a little bit better. The mattress pad on the bed kind of slid over the side of the bed I sleep on and, when I turned over, I slid off the bed. Landed on my hands and knees, with my left knee taking the worst hit. (Told you I was a klutz!)
I had to text my grandson (in his bedroom) in the middle of the night and ask him to bring me my scooter so I could go potty. It’s a good thing I took my cell phone to bed with me: Teenagers don’t listen to you any more, but they do respond to text messages.
In the “getting things ready” department, after rearranging the bedroom furniture, I did the next important thing: I bought an e-reader. The surgeon tells me that, between surgery and a temporary prosthesis, I’ll be confined to a bed and chair except to go to the bathroom (if I ever figure out how). That leaves a lot of time for reading. My hands tend to numb after holding a book for a while when I’m in bed, which is where I’ll pretty much have to be. I can ride my scooter into the bathroom near the bedroom: There’s no way I’ll be able to get anywhere near the necessary objects in the half bath near the recliner I’ve pretty much been living in for the last 1 1/2 years.
I’ve been practicing riding my scooter around the house to do things. I even figured out how to get things in and out of the refrigerator while on my scooter! (It’s a small kitchen. I had to figure out how to park the scooter where I could stay on it and still open the refrigerator door.)
Sometimes I take the scooter into the bedroom overnight and ride it into the bathroom. I can do that just fine. Maybe after we get handrails in the bathroom, I’ll be able to figure out how to get onto the potty. Hanging onto a windowsill and a toilet paper dispenser doesn’t seem to be doing it.
Which reminds me that we need to get some bars installed in the bathroom. The kind you hold onto, not the kind you drink at. Although the latter is sounding good, even to somebody who probably has an average of one alcoholic drink a month, if that.
Yes, I have been trying to do things one-legged. Frankly, I suck at it. (It’ll get better after I’ve gotten some instructions and practice at the hospital. I hope. Actually, it HAS to!)
Next up is getting my continuous glucose monitor to behave. Or it could be my latest box of sensors. Who knows? The sensors are only lasting hours instead of days, and not that many hours at that. I have impressed upon them my need for keeping a close eye on my blood glucose levels. Just as soon as that infection is separated from the rest of my body, my glucose is going to do the equivalent of diving off the top of the Empire State Building. And I’m hypo-unaware. Marvelous, huh?
Raise my glucose? Yeah, but you don’t heal as fast that way, so I’m not interested. I want to get back on my feet — not foot, mind you, but feet — as soon as I can. Even is one is manufactured instead of original equipment.
Source URL: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/jan-obsesses-but-not-about-the-amputation-what-could-it-be/
Jan Chait: Jan Chait was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in January 1986. Since then, she has run the gamut of treatments, beginning with diet and exercise. She now uses an insulin pump to help treat her diabetes. (Jan Chait is not a medical professional.)
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